A few failed subplots are a given on any big television series that spans many seasons. The Vampire Diaries especially has so many weaving storylines and characters that it’s natural to have weaker parts dotting the plot. There were many aspects of the show that needed to be expanded upon to get us invested in them, and other storylines that weren’t necessary at all. With so many supernatural talents and mystical elements, sometimes the writers seemingly got carried away and ended up in narrative cul-de-sac. In a lot of cases, producers didn’t let go of certain stories until they were long worn out, much to fans’ dismay.
Let’s be real, there are some side characters in The Vampire Diaries whose backgrounds and problems fans grew tired of. Even main characters wound up in tiresome and frustrating storylines that we could have done without. The writers never had a shortage of content for this popular eight-season long TV show, but not every narrative was a home run. Don’t forget, The Vampire Diaries is a fantastic show overall, and the purpose of this list isn’t to tear it down. As a whole, there were absolutely more great storylines than poor ones, and there’s no doubt this franchise is deserving of its huge following. Still, let’s take a look back at some of the events that made us cringe and wish we could press fast forward. Hopefully The Vampire Diaries' spinoff Legacies can avoid these storytelling missteps.
Here are 20 Storylines The Vampire Diaries Wants Us To Forget.
Revealing Silas and Amara as the start of the doppelganger lineage probably sounded like a good idea at the time. It’s true we didn’t really know where Katherine and Elena came from or why exactly they look alike, but the answer wasn’t terribly satisfying. The tension between Katherine and Elena was already interesting enough, and putting Nina Dobrev in yet another role (as Amara) was unnecessary.
Stefan also being a doppelganger (of Silas) was just one step too far. It may have made Elena and Stefan seem fated to be together like their counterparts, but this only threw a wrench in everything that came before. We all know Stefan and Elena were never going to be endgame past a certain point in the series.
It saved Bonnie’s life, but her becoming the shamanic huntress took more away from the plot than it added. When Rayna Cruz sacrificed herself and transferred her huntress powers to Bonnie, we were mostly left frustrated. Her new instincts mean she has no choice but to hate her closest friends. Most of the main cast are vampires and therefore her natural enemies.
This storyline might have been more interesting had it been fresh, but this same scenario happened when Jeremy became a vampire hunter. There was nothing lacking about Bonnie being a witch, so this turn of events is a shoulder shrug. It doesn’t help that it was in part an act of revenge on Damon Salvatore, whose closest friend began to hate him.
Looking back on Caroline and Damon’s relationship over most of the series, it’s hard to believe they were ever close. Caroline was originally treated like a prop to display Damon’s villainous nature, since he compels her to act as he pleases. It may be because Caroline is such a commanding vampire later in the show that it’s easy to forget she was ever human. In season one, though, she was definitely susceptible to his manipulation.
This may not be something the writers want us to remember about Damon. His bad boy image was probably overblown during the first season to set up Stefan as the opposite. When we get down to the complexities of Damon’s character in later seasons, his assault of Caroline is too easily swept under the rug.
This subculture of nomadic witches seemed to draw a lot of attention away from what we love about The Vampire Diaries. There wasn’t really anything redeeming about the Traveleres, and overall they were just irritating. We already had a great number of witches with different motivations, so introducing a group of witches who don’t call themselves witches was confusing.
They were cursed by regular witches and can't use traditional magic. However, their other forms of witchcraft help them sustain their existence. While this led to a lot of questions already, the structure of the group is unclear since they are nomadic. Maybe with some tweaking the Travelers could have played a more significant role. All things considered, it probably would have been best for writers to just pull the plug early.
Vicki played her role well in season one-- she was the fist major character to lose their life. The problem is that she appeared in almost every season since. Vicki helped us learn about the rules and consequences of vampirism. She also provided a healthy dose of action to the first few episodes. However, she returns periodically either as a ghost or physically from the Other Side.
Granted, she is Matt’s siser, so it makes sense for him to think of her. He clearly wants to see her when magical circumstances make it possible. At the same time, though, viewers probably didn’t need this many throwbacks to the past, especially all the way to early season one.
Though this plot line showed off Nina Dobrev’s impressive acting skills and gave us some powerful scenes, it went on for far too long. When Damon tells her to turn off her emotions after Jeremy’s demise, she becomes a completely different person, without any of her endearing qualities. Stefan and Damon spend a few episodes chasing her like puppies to try and get her to flip the switch back on. The way she treats them is understandable, but frustrating.
Elena seemed like an inauthentic version of Katherine without the same level of wit or skillful manipulation. The whole ordeal made us question whether or not this was an experience Elena really needed to have.
A number of episodes revolve around Klaus assembling an army of vampire-werewolf hybrids just like himself. It makes sense for Klaus to want this kind of companionship, and of course the power that comes with controlling these rare supernatural beings. He had recently gained access to his vampire side and could use Elena’s blood to produce more and more hybrids.
However, this storyline kind of fizzled out. It became more about Tyler and Caroline’s struggles as Tyler became one of Klaus’ puppets. In the end, writers gave up on this hybrid army as Klaus departed for The Originals. It didn’t amount to anything on The Vampire Diaries.
It’s an understatement to say that Katherine and Elena have had a rocky relationship, but this episode was pretty over the top. As Katherine always says, she did what she had to do to survive. It’s not out of character, but viewers might be left wondering what the point of it was.
Writers had loads of fun in earlier seasons letting Katherine imitate Elena and vice-versa. They would always manage to trick others, and even the audience wasn't always in on who was who. Katherine being physically in Elena’s body – which is essentially her own body anyway, didn’t really add anything new. It also resulted in Katherine’s demise, which many viewers were understandably upset about.
Whether or not you were a fan of Jeremy and Bonnie’s relationship, him betraying her with the ghost of his former girlfriend was just weird. The producers brought back Anna for a short time as a ghost, but this didn’t do much except harm Jeremy’s future with Bonnie. It also tainted viewers’ memory of Jeremy and Anna’s relationship, which was short and sweet but had quite a following.
Maybe the kiss would have come across different if Anna had stayed in the series and was able to return to the world of the living. However, the story wasn’t at all satisfying considering she was written out yet again.
Elena has been through so much in her life, starting with losing her parents at a young age. It’s still unclear why it had to be revealed that she was adopted, especially since finding her real mother didn’t amount to much. Isobel was really just a wicked person, possessed by the naïve desire to become a vampire. She doesn’t resemble Elena’s personality at all, and Elena discovering this wasn’t something we really wanted to see.
The worst part of all had to be when Isobel destroys herself in front of her own daughter. Apart from being pretty hard to watch, it also meant that Isobel wasn’t a significant part of the story after the second season.
There were always times when Bonnie couldn’t muster enough power to perform a certain spell, but taking away her magic altogether was too much. She already faced a time when she couldn’t use her powers and had to slowly gain them back. After becoming the huntress, her magic is gone entirely, putting her in an even greater position of weakness.
Realistically, what makes Bonnie a special character is her will to stretch her powers. She uses her strength to save her friends in critical moments. This plot twist took away her ability to fight for them at all. Though she eventually gets them back, she wasn’t the witch we know and love for way too much of the series.
Stefan as a ripper was an intriguing twist, but should have been left in the past. There was something fascinating about Stefan’s monstrous vampire qualities coming out in the 1920s party scene. However, the revival of Ripper Stefan was nothing short of disappointing.
He flips off his humanity switch in order to protect Damon and himself, which isn’t a bad reason. Still, fans really didn’t need to see him in such a state in anything other than a distant flashback. Trying to destroy Elena in her coffin seemed more like a tactic to grab attention than something the show really needed.
The wait was finally over: Damon and Elena’s relationship was blossoming into a romance. Until, that is, we find out at the tail end of the episode that she is sired to him. Since she’s tied to him in an involuntary magical way, fans couldn’t assume that she was truly falling in love.
It was almost a slap in the face for fans who had been trying to manifest this moment for most of the series. Even though Damon and Elena do eventually get their happy ending, it still leaves a bitter taste. Their first romantic moments together were not wholly authentic.
We always knew the Salvatore brothers’ history, but their mother’s first appearance in season six seems like it came out of nowhere. With her arrival came another overblown storyline for viewers to process. The brothers didn’t know she had been alive for centuries as a vampire, and was even a ripper like Stefan.
This narrative seems all too familiar, as if the writers were trying to recreate a situation similar to Elena’s. In truth, we got enough of a sense of the Salvatores’ background from the in-depth flashbacks in early seasons. Everyone pretty much had a solid idea of their characters without needing to add more family drama on top.
Caroline stayed with Tyler an awfully long time. It’s strange that the writers took so long to put her with other male suitors that viewers loved. The producers tried to give Caroline and Tyler a star-crossed lovers vibe when Klaus was after Tyler, but many actually wanted Caroline and Klaus to get together instead.
It seems no matter how hard producers tried, this relationship was never going to be entirely convincing. Even Caroline and Matt made a little more sense as a couple. Tyler’s angsty tendencies overall didn’t mesh as well with Caroline’s sunny personality and ate up far too much screen time.
Sure, it says a lot about Bonnie’s character that she would do this. Still, Jeremy left and came back so many times that we’re left wondering if it was worth the drama. No one’s denying how loveable Jeremy’s character is, but his exits were intense and it might have been better for the show for him to stay away.
When Elena turns off her humanity in one of the most powerful scenes of the series, it was due to Jeremy being taken out by Katherine. Looking back, all of that astounding acting doesn’t have the same effect knowing he returns from the Other Side. It’s also not a great idea to show Bonnie giving up her life for someone else, no matter how heroic it makes her seem.
At first, Katherine being a mother was a piece of her past that worked to humanize her. She had to give up her daughter Nadia in Bulgaria when she had her at a young age. This is definitely another storyline that writers dug up to expand upon for content in later seasons. It’s hard to believe Nadia would have turned herself into a vampire just to continue searching for Katherine through the centuries.
It’s even shadier that Katherine didn’t want much to do with her when they finally met. Baby Nadia getting ripped from Katherine’s hands is an image that added more depth to her character. This storyline completely wiped that away. Nadia doesn’t last long as a main character on the series, so was it really worth it?
Cade was something of a placeholder for the ruler of Hell until Katherine took over. We didn’t know of him until season eight, and he met his demise during that very same season. It was hard to get invested in his character and backstory, but that didn’t stop the writers from keeping him relevant for many episodes.
Perhaps it was an issue of Dobrev's availability that the show used him as an antagonist when it should have been Katherine all along. After all these years, she still works as the main villain, and viewers were definitely not opposed to seeing her return. Cade’s story could have easily been cut out, or at least made more vital to the plot.
It seems pointless to have a historic family of Originals when anyone can later become one. Esther had the power to make Alaric an Original, which seems to defeat the purpose of having them in the first place. The word "original" implies the first of a long lineage, which is what the family represented. Though it was the same witch that created the Original family who gave Alaric this status, the concept sort of loses its magic.
There are other scenarios producers could have come up with for Alaric to be a hunter. With unlimited supernatural forces at characters’ disposal, there’s definitely room to play around without overcomplicating the plot.
A lot of people did want to see Caroline and Stefan together. Their marriage in the finale granted this wish, but minutes later there was a setup for Caroline to be with Klaus. This was necessary due Stefan’s passing and the continuation of Caroline's storyline in The Originals and then Legacies. However, it seemed more than rushed to have these two relationships pushed on us at almost the same time.
The writers needed us to forget this storyline almost immediately to gain interest for the spinoff series. While it makes sense, it wasn’t an ideal ending for a lot of fans. That being said, Stefan’s passing to begin with was a lot to handle.
What other storylines do you think got swept under the rug on The Vampire Diaries? Let us know in the comments!